By Nat Shirley
Friday, Nov 30th, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

Given Toyota's penchant for placing hybrid powertrains in nearly every one of its models, it came as a something of a surprise that the new RAV4 debuted earlier this week at the Los Angeles auto show without a gas-electric option.

While a RAV4 Hybrid definitely won't be available at launch, RAV4 Deputy Chief Engineer Yoshikazu Saeki has revealed to Auto Express that such a model is a possibility for the future, and that Toyota is keeping a close eye on the market to gauge whether consumers would be interested.

The most likely powertrain for a hybrid-ized RAV4 is the setup used by the Camry (among other models), which combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder - nearly the same engine fitted to the standard 2013 RAV4 - with an electric motor for a total system output of 200 horespower.

Recent rumors have suggested that Toyota is considering an e-4WD system for the next Prius, which could also be a good fit for a RAV4 Hybrid. The e-4WD would reportedly employ an electric motor to power the rear wheels for extra traction in slippery low-speed situations.

Even if Toyota decides right away that there's demand for a RAV4 Hybrid , expect it to take the automaker at least a year or two to bring the crossover to the market.

Here at Leftlane, we believe the contributions of the community are just as valuable as those of our staff. The Web, at its core, is a medium for information sharing and communication. We strive to provide good information, but without you—the community member—there is no communication. Read More>>